Did you know there are 11,000 realtors in Northern VA alone? So when I decided to go into the business, I quickly had to figure out what would make people want to work with me. This got me thinking…
Before going into real estate, I worked in construction and development. This equipped me with organization and negotiation skills in high-stakes projects. People counted on me to get the job, negotiate the contract, manage employees, do the work, and deliver on-time and under budget. This certainly gives me a leg-up on the competition, but in real estate, you need something more.
So what does make me different than those other 11,000 realtors? I think its the fact that I care about the client- and what they want above anything else. It’s kind of crazy that something so simple, so easy, could be a determining factor in making me good at my job- but honestly it does. So many people in this industry are in a rush to make money, move through a transaction, and onto the next one. I can’t tell you how many realtors I work with who talk about clients “wasting” their time, or refusing to meet with clients who are unsure about selling/buying. This isn’t an attitude to have when working in a customer service-oriented business.
There is nothing I won’t do for my clients, and I work really hard to give them my objective opinion throughout the process:
First, I want to make sure I understand their goals so we can achieve them together. Buying a home can be a messy and emotional process, and I feel it’s my job to keep us focused on getting their dream home for a great deal. If I see my client settling, or unsure, we talk about it. I love the first meeting with clients because they are usually fresh into the process- and the possibilities are endless. I completely feed off the energy and love the challenge of finding the perfect property. I don’t care how many homes we have to go through, or how long it takes- if they’re good, I’m good!
Second, I’ve also found in an expensive area like Northern VA, we have to be able to problem solve to get the client their ideal property on budget. We would all love the million dollar property that is perfect- and trust me it’s fun to sell, but the reality is most of us go into a property knowing we have to do some work. This is where my contacts in construction help, because we can determine how much a fix or remodel would be and factor that into negotiations. Taking on a remodel /renovation portion of a home is the best way to be able to afford your ideal property within your budget.
I know this may sound idealistic, but I also only want to work with clients that want to work with me. In sales, people sometimes like to dangle bait, and give you the run around. You know the kind–a “jump when I say jump” client. These aren’t my people. I like to collaborate with the client, and think of them more as friends. The trust is essential to working through what can be the most stressful event in one’s life. This gives us a better shot at problem solving, and working through the stressful process. When we are in this together, there is nothing we can’t do.
If you’ve ever had a realtor and thought- why do I even have to work with them? Or what does she/he even do? You likely are not with the right realtor. A true realtor should guide you through the transaction, problem solve, and add value to the process.